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Stupid timing question

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Van Bagley, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Van Bagley

    Van Bagley Gold Level Sponsor

    When using a timing light I cannot get the dampener to show TDC. It appears to be 180 off. It runs OK but this is not correct. I thought I could pull out the dizzy and rotate it so the rotor would point to #1 and with the dampener at TDC. At first I thought I had the dampener on incorrectly.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Tim R

    Tim R Silver Level Sponsor

    I think this possibly stems from the engine not being rotated one revolution forward AFTER lining up the timing marks but BEFORE fitting the oil pump (and therefore the distributor) during a rebuild. Many workshop manuals missed out this step and you end up timing the engine to No4 instead on No 1. I claim not expertise here and may be completely wrong, but have you tried putting the timing light on No 4?

    Tim R
     
  3. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

    Could be as Tim noted. But one also needs to be aware that older harmonic balancers have a bad tendency for the rubber to dry out and for the outer metal ring - where the timing marks are - to slip, sometimes drastically so. This results in the timing not only being impossible to set in that manner, but for the “balancer” to wobble and effectively become imbalanced.

    To check if yours is bad you can perform two tests. First, bring the engine to where it is coming up on TDC on #1 cylinder, and use a simple wooden dowel through the spark plug hole to ensure the piston has moved to the absolute top as you very slowly rotate the crank... then check the timing mark on the balancer... it should align with the pointer on the timing chest... if not, run the test again to be sure... if it fails again, your balancer is shot.

    The second test is to put a dial indicator on the front face of the balancer’s outer ring and use the crank to turn the motor over, having a partner note the variance in the indicator... if it regularly fluctuates more than .010-.015” (not including ‘jumps’ where it may hit a bump or two) your balancer is shot.
     
  4. husky drvr

    husky drvr Gold Level Sponsor

    Tim,

    Due to the firing order and four stroke design of the engine, using #4 for the firing signal should give the same results as using #1 for the signal. Van could try using #2 or #3 for firing signal, but I'm not sure that's the base problem(s). The mechanical assembly of the timing pulley to the crank should indicate TDC on #'s 1 & 4 cylinders. Pulley TDC mark can't line up on #'s 2 & 3 cylinders. I think Van should check to see if the damper ring is loose or has slipped on its hub.

    I suppose if the oil pump was assembled improperly to the cam, initially, then distributor and firing position manipulation could give some interesting variations.

    Van,

    Is there some type special instructions for timing your electronic distributor?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  5. Van Bagley

    Van Bagley Gold Level Sponsor

    Using Puff4 method here is a shot of the pulley with #1 at the top. IMG_6794.JPG
     
  6. Van Bagley

    Van Bagley Gold Level Sponsor

    I somewhat suspect that the pulley has slipped but why would it slip almost a perfect 180? At one time this was not a problem.
    Also to husky drvr, the dizzy was a "plug and play". I will check regardless.
     
  7. belmateo

    belmateo Gold Level Sponsor

    You might want to pull the valve cover to make sure both valves are closed at what you suspect to be TDC. You can also pull the spark plug and see the piston at TDC.
     
  8. Van Bagley

    Van Bagley Gold Level Sponsor

    Also I noticed just how wobbly the dampener is when running
     
  9. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

    There you go. That’s the sign. It’s dead, Jim.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  10. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

  11. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

    When I was rebuilding my motor I obtained one of the billet timing covers from the guy who makes them, so I bought the balancer with lip seal surface (I traded a nackered old Judson Supercharger that I no longer needed for the billet cover - a good deal, I think).
     

    Attached Files:

  12. husky drvr

    husky drvr Gold Level Sponsor

    Van,

    After seeing this pic, I'm going to guess that your damper hub has had a new keyway machined into the hub. There are two different degree scales marked on the damper ring - one by hand. If so, then the repair was probably done to salvage a damaged hub. If your pulley is wobbling or loose, you probably have a cracked hub.

    Good luck,
     
  13. Tim R

    Tim R Silver Level Sponsor

    Having had a new pattern harmonic balancer disintegrate and destroy the radiator and much of the front of the engine I fitted a sold aluminium pulley. This was a fraction of the price of the pulleys detailed above. There is no discernible vibration caused by NOT having a harmonic balancer (although I accept that there may be issues that I am unaware of because Rootes would not have fitted one if they did not feel it was required). the solid pulley has been on for well over 100,000 miles now with no problems.

    Tim R
     
  14. Van Bagley

    Van Bagley Gold Level Sponsor

    I just got one from Rick McLeod.
    In moving things around the long oil cooler line cracked. Good that it cracked now rather than later. Any suggestions on where to find one that is made or do I have to have one made up?
     
  15. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    I think the ones for an MGB would fit. I've worked on both and the threads were the same.
     
  16. Van Bagley

    Van Bagley Gold Level Sponsor

    I have installed the new balancer and now the dizzy rotor points to #1 when at TDC.

    I'm really really frustrated by it all. I have spent most of the covid summer/fall putting this car together, replacing wheels, hubs, clutch ( engine out), boiling out the radiator, new relay for the OD and the list goes on. Now it won't run. It did for a few minutes but diesel'd like crazy, no power. I put a timing light on it and it's correct. The Pertronix dizzy started to smoke and it's wired correctly. Not sure what to do other than leave it until I get the energy to start on it again. It just seems to fight me at every turn and it's really a simple albeit 53 year old car.
    Not having fun any more.
     
  17. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

    I’m sorry to hear it’s been such a slog. I feel your pain, having gone through similar things with the cars I’ve restored and repaired. It gets better, so stick with it.

    Dieseling sounds like incorrect ignition timing. Others will differ, but I’m not a fan of Pertronix. My suggestion would be to take a break for a bit and send your dizzy off to Advanced Distributors (Jeff) and let him do his magic. You’ll get back a fully restored dizzy that works so much better than the old one and it will be curved for today’s fuels and the present state of your motor. It’s some of the best money you can spend on your car. I had mine done and it added several horsies to the wheels (not to mention it cured a number of nagging ills!)
     
  18. puff4

    puff4 Gold Level Sponsor

    Also... make sure you’re working with good gasoline... if it’s been sitting for quite a while, don’t trust the stuff that’s in it. Modern fuels go bad MUCH faster than old-school gasoline did IMHO.
     
  19. Van Bagley

    Van Bagley Gold Level Sponsor

    The gasoline theory is sound, however it's a fresh tank (Chevron). Are you saying that I should send the original dizzy to Jeff or the Pertronix?Also do you have contact info for him?
    A month ago it ran great, however the clutch and throwout bearing was shot so I pulled the motor and replaced both. During this I never touched the ignition. I had the radiator flushed and inspected, new gaskets (oil pan) water pump, lots of cleaning. Once back in the car it ran like crap this is when we noticed that the the balancer needed replacing. Now it even runs worse if at all.
     
  20. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    If you can, post pictures of your car at TDC with the valve cover off, with a stick or screw driver showing piston position
    relative to TDC and a shot of your distributor ( cap off) and showing where the rotor is pointing. If you were closer
    I'd come over and have a look. I think Kevin may have a point that the timing is off. If the balancer was shot and
    you put a new one on, the timing could well be off.

    Also, if you have the old dizzy, put it back in and see if that changes anything. That way you can rule out the Pertonix
    or see if that is indeed your issue.

    What you have isn't all that rare. Timing is everything!
    Cheers!
    Steve
     

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